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flickertail

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About flickertail

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    Star Raider
  • Birthday 06/01/1971

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  1. SpiceWare posted on my blog about your Robotron 2600 game project in response to my MrBoehm USB/Bluetooth controller project. Excited to be able to buy a copy once it is released. It'll be a great use of this feature: MrBoehm Double-Joystick Template
  2. Well, I have the basics of my MrBoehm (Named after my 7th grade science teacher) game controller working. It now supports the basics of 2600, 5200, and 7800 game controllers. Still alot of optimization that needs to be done yet. Discovered that my 5200 and my 7800 are not working optimally. Some bad port action, but they are good enough for now. Probably will need some repairs at some point. Attached is some Castle Crisis 5200 love. 5200love.mp4
  3. Both 7800 joystick ports are now working. I've mapped them to the left and right analog sticks on the logitech gamepad. Seems to be working great. testcart.mp4
  4. SpiceWare - Thanks for the comment. The finished version will allow that setup, the code is going to allow lots of different port configurations. The one you suggested should be no problem. I'm also planning a Star Raiders configuration, so that the left port joystick controls and the right port keypad buttons will be mapped to a single modern controller. Once it's done, my friend Dave and I will have some PCB's made. Not sure how many. If you don't mind sending me a BIN of the game, I can put in on my Harmony Cart, test it with the Logitech gamepad and post a video. I don't see the cart for sale anywhere. Oops, didn't understand that was link to a forum page for a game being developed by someone else. Sorry, I should have read your reply more closely.
  5. The last week was a source of frustration, as I could not get the ADG715 SPST switches to behave as expected. When the switches were closed, they worked just fine, but when they were open, they intermittently "closed". There was voltage bleed over, which meant that the Atari 7800 was seeing random JS input. Come to find out, the Raspberry Pi GPIO power was bleeding into the switches. The solution, was to double-ground (one ground to Atari ground, one ground to GPIO ground) 1 of the 8 SPST switches on the chip. Once that was done, all the switches on the chip worked as expected. Well sort of, I figured out that I wasn't addressing the 715's correctly over the I2C bus, and I had two wires flipped inside my 5200 to 7800/2600 converter cable. The device is wired for a 5200 cable, but compatible with the 2600 and the 7800 as well through the conversion cable. Long story short, after a week of pulling my hair out, I have the 2600/7800 joystick and fire buttons working. Glad I bought the 2600 Test Cart, helped out a lot while debugging. Attached are videos of me playing Draconian (2600) and Baby Pacman (7800) using an older USB Logitech gamepad. The Xbox One S controller works over bluetooth, but it's just less of a hassle to repeatedly restart and test everything if I can skip the bluetooth paring. Sorry about the quality of the video, it's hard to balance my phone, hold the controller, play the game, and keep everything centered & in focus all at the same time. It's probably time I bought a GoPro and a camera stand to make these videos easier to shoot. I removed the audio from the video because the camera was close to my face, and my heavy breathing resulting from having to juggle everything mentioned above made the video hard to listen to. ...and the colors on the TV are funny because the power went out recently while it was on and fried the tube... hasn't been showing proper colors since. draconian-small.mp4 babypacman-small.mp4
  6. Ohhh... finally! The semester is over. My final paper for the semester has finally been turned in... 2 days and 30min late... but it is in. And I never want to take another class ever again... at least not a class that is taught online, but is supposed to be in a classroom. I'm so sick of being stuck at home. That said, the semester is over, my 2600 "testcart" cartridge arrived in the mail yesterday, so I'm ready to continue development. All the chips are on the breadboards, 4 x 5200 cables are wired up to the boards. 2 x 5200 to 2600 cables created. I've only wired up two controller ports worth of chips for now as it takes forever to wire the boards, and I want to make sure that the two port version is working on the 7800 before I pull my 4-port 5200 out of storage. But I have a great new game to test all 4 ports of the 5200 once I'm ready, and a great new game to test the 7800 features of the controller as well. I was so happy to see a 7800 Baby Pacman in the AtariAge store have not having visited AA for so long. I loved the arcade BP when I was a teen, though I was never any good at it, especially the pinball part.
  7. I've been procrastinating instead of working on my paper again. As I have less than two weeks to finish my paper, this is probably the last time I'll do any work on this project until the semester is over. I wired up the Pi Zero today to both ports of the 7800 in preparation for code development. I put River Raid in the cart port, just to have a cart in the slot when I turned on the 7800. In the video, I've wired it for the left and right ports with two-button controllers. However, I didn't write any code yet, for a couple of reasons. This new wiring requires the use of the multiplexer chip, and I haven't read up on the programming requirements for it yet. I haven't installed all the Python3 modules needed to talk to the chips via SDA/SLC. By drawing power from both ports, and wiring it in parallel to Pi GPIO power, I'm hoping I've got the current going into the Pi up around 2A. But I haven't tested it, and probably won't until current draw becomes a problem. IDK, I know next to nothing about power, and nothing about Atari 7800 power other than each port offers roughly 1A in current. I read online, that wiring power sources in parallel will keep the Voltage the same but add the Amps. However, maybe wiring this as two parallel power sources does nothing, since ultimately, both ports are drawing from the same power source. IDK... if you're reading this and have a different opinion, please feel free to correct me. I did some Atari/Pi Zero boot tests this morning using the test wiring and that went . Wifi/SSH work when powered by the 7800, so does Bluetooth. However, the video doesn't show any of that. All the attached video is the wiring setup. The real key to getting all of this to work while powered only by the Atari is to get the boot time for the Pi Zero down. Today, I installed a new version of Raspbian Lite with no boot optimizations, so the current boot time is about 70 seconds. However, in past testing, I've been able to get boot time all the way down to 28 seconds with Wifi, USB, and Bluetooth enabled. I figure, I can probably get it down to 20 seconds without wifi or a couple of other minor things turned off, and still use USB, Python3, and Bluetooth. The "production" version, if you want to call it that, won't need Wifi anyway. The goal, however, would be to get the boot time below 8 seconds. For that I'm guessing a custom Linux build would be needed. If necessary, I'll hire someone, but David and I, with the help of my cousin, will probably first take a stab at building a custom version of Linux ourselves. And no, when it comes to building a custom version of Linux for the Pi that optimizes boot time, while still allowing the use of USB, Bluetooth, GPIO, and Python3, we are noobs. Can it be done, IDK... but we'll give it a try. Anyway, that's all I got time for at the moment. The test wiring in the video doesn't have any of the paddle or keyboard wiring, and thus won't work with the 5200 even if I had the 5200 cables attached. Don't need it for testing the big things. test-wiring.mp4
  8. Haven't been able to play around with the bluetooth controller in the past week as I had to finally stop procrastinating on my semester paper final, so I spent most of my spare time working on that. However, did make some a couple of 5200 to 2600 joystick cables, wired specifically to work with the controller chips. The chips will be wired up to 5200 pins. I also printed off some stickers for my bluetooth keyboard, which I plan to use when testing the controller chips. The stickers are made using a back and white later printer, printing on to colored address labels. They don't stick very well to the rubber keys. I might put some modpoge on them.
  9. Stephan and everyone, thanks for the info and recommendations. I will experiment as suggested. I haven't tinkered with it for a several days as I finally had to stop procrastinating on my end-of-the-semester paper deadline.
  10. Hey Edladdin, I'm starting to think a lot could be done with it. I managed to use the power pins from the 7800 ports last night to boot an overclocked Raspberry Pi Zero W in back-power mode. It had bluetooth on, wifi on, and usb on. The monitor wasn't connected, but it booted just like it would if it were connected to a power supply. And it was it stable. I even connected to the Pi's bash prompt it using SSH from my desktop. All I did to shut off the Pi was to turn off the 7800. I wondered if shutting it down so abruptly would corrupt the operating system, so I booted the Pi right after using just a wall plug. It fired back up just fine - uncorrupted. So apparently there is enough current to do that. The 0W runs at 150 mA at idle and not overclocked. A 1.2 Amp power supply is recommended. I'm guessing the ports have close to 1 Amp worth of current.
  11. Saturday David and I wasted a good three hours trying to get a Raspberry Pi 4B to boot using power from the 7800 joystick ports. It didn't work. The recommended power supply for the 4B is 3 Amps. It's power requirement at idle is 600 mA. I spent a good portion of this evening trying to get the boot time of an RPi Zero W down to something small enough to correspond with a cart change on the 7800. Best I could do was 28 seconds. Not bad considering that I shaved off 32 seconds from the start of the evening. In order to get the RPi Zero W to boot faster, I'll probably need to hire an embedded systems expert. I'll save that for the future. So that said, you're probably wondering, did you try powering the Zero W using the 7800 joystick ports? Well... the recommend power supply for the Zero W is 1.2 Amps. Its idle (probably with a monitor attached) is 150 mA. Unfortunately, the 0W that I have doesn't have any GPIO pins installed, and you need GPIO pins to backpower it. But you know I got curious... Long story short, I rigged some jumpers from the 7800 ports to the 0W's GPIO pins 2 and 6... turned on the 7800... and well... IT WORKED! It powered up just fine, no problems. Wifi was working, I SSH'd to the pi from my desktop while the pi was being powered by the 7800. Bluetooth was on as well, but I didn't test it. My guess is though, it would have worked since the Wifi was working. Yes, I have video of it, but it's not that impressive. I'll post some video once my Solderless GPIO pin set arrives. It'll be more impressive anyway. I'll play AtariAge Stratogems on the 7800 hardware with an XBox Controller over Bluetooth. I'm very happy that the 0W worked well while powered by the joystick ports. Makes the whole Bluetooth setup more of a peripheral. My guess is that a Linux bare metal build will be required in order to get the boot time to a reasonable speed. Which means a lot of the bloat of OS will need to be removed. But that's beyond my skills... and will probably cost me a pretty penny to make it happen. Of course, there's no reason why a 4B couldn't be used... it's just that it would require a power supply... and cost $45 vs $15. I'm just hoping to make a Pi HAT that maybe other hackers might want to tinker with. I was disappointed to see today that the Atari VCS people today "announced" that Atari Casino was almost ready. Like that's supposed to get me excited? Who the fuck cares about gambling with Atari cryptocurrency on their stupid Atari Casino platform? Guess we know where their priorities are, and I guess that means that I'll never see the modern VCS controllers I have on pre-order at Walmart. If you guys want to go broke, start gambling with Crypto... it's not like most crypto isn't already a gamble anyway. Atari Corp - We're gonna take your childhood memories and turn them into a gambling addiction during the worst economic downturn since the 1930's. Yeah, good business plan.
  12. I like the look of Cranberry. Keep it up!
  13. I see that the Easy 78 Input/Output board from Edladdin takes advantage of the 5V power coming from the 7800's joystick ports to power "low amp" add-ons... aka LEDs. What are the JS port's power specs on the 7800? I know that it's 5V, but what are the amps? Are they the same as the 2600? Thanks, Aaron
  14. After some more discussion with my friend David, we decided last night that it wouldn't take a whole lot more effort to build a prototype that supports both 2600/7800 ports as well as both the 2-port and 4-port version of the Atari 5200. In addition to my 7800, I have a 4 x port 5200, so I can test the full-range of the prototype. This can be done with 4 x 5242 chips, 13 x 715 chips, 1 x multiplexer, and power switch. I ordered all the necessary parts today, several additional chips and two more 5200 controller cables.
  15. I've received all the chips I need to wire up 2 ports on either 2600/7800 or the 5200. Below is a photo of the chips for one port plus the multiplexer and the power switch. Also there is a photo of these chips wired up for all three controllers. However, I've temporarily wired it up to the 2600 cable as I don't want to dig my 5200 out of storage for now. I haven't recorded another video because I need to rewrite my Python code to work with this new configuration.
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